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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,292 ratings  ·  175 reviews
A stunning and moving new novel from Michael Morpurgo, the nation's favourite storyteller - featuring the bravest dog in all the world! He tackles a current war with the story of a sniffer dog named Shadow and an Afghan boy.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Ms. Yingling
Aman and his mother have been living in England for six years when they are told they have not gained political asylum and must return to Afghanistan. They are placed in the Yarl's Wood detention center. Matt, a good friend of Aman's, enlists the help of his grandfather to try to help the family. When the grandfather visits to try to find out the story, Aman tells him about the death of his father, how the family was living with an elderly grandmother in a cave, and how an uncle in England was a...more
Claire Russell
Shadow is a book about friendship that spans the UK and Afghanistan. Matt visits his grandfather and tells him about his best friend Aman who along with his mother has been taken to Yarl’s Wood. Aman has lived in the UK for 6 years as an asylum seeker, but according to the Government their time has run out and he has to return to Afghanistan. As Matt is not allowed to visit Aman he persuades his Grandfather, a former journalist to go to Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Aman tells of his incredible...more
Paul Degraaf
Great story, written for children. Author of "War Horse." Inspirational story of friendship and sacrifice.
I read this one with my 9 year old daughter, and I think she is the perfect age to benefit from the subject matter, but I'm not sure she would have completed it had we not read it together, given some of the unfamiliar vocabulary and complex and sometimes troubling themes addressed. It helped that I was there to answer her questions, and she had many.

"Shadow" is the story of a young boy, Aman, and his mother, who are seeking asylum in England after fleeing the oppressive reign of the Taliban in...more
The good thing about Michael Morpurgo books is they do not delve into politics, but focus on the human cost and the lives of ordinary people effected by events outside their control.Imagine your are living in a good country your family can make a living and you have freedom, education,the country has history of ancient civilisation. Then one day you are invaded by a foreign power (Russia ) the fighting starts and goes on for years and you gradually lose everything , then the Russians leave and...more
He tackles very deep subjects with enormous tact and care giving children – and adults - the chance to explore serious issues. As always this book is beautifully written with warm characters and a hefty dollop of reality.

Set in the early years of the Afghan war ,this book is about a boy called Aman. He and his Mum are going to be deported from the UK back to Afghanistan. They are being held at a prison near his best friends Granddad's house. David ( his best friend) Comes to see Aman i the prison but no children are allowed in. David sends in his granddad and Aman tells his story.

This book is amazing and so sad it almost will make you cry. It opens your eyes to how bad they are treated and to the horror of livi...more
This is an amazing amazing book !!!!!!! i loved it soooooo much. It brought the emotions out of me :D i would 100% recommend it :)
Laura Phelps
Told from three different perspectives (an Afghan boy, Aman, his British friend Matt and Matt’s grandfather), Shadow exposes the plight of detained refugees, explores the way friendship can transcend nationality and highlights a beautiful grandfather-grandson relationship. I am a sucker for books with animal heroes in them and Shadow is quite a hero, helping Aman and his mother reach safety in Afghanistan. Morpurgo manages to make the reader fall in love with this dog without being sappy. I real...more
Jo Norman
Read this to my boys (9 and 11) and it is a fantastic book. Quite serious and sad but the author handles a really dificult subject matter from a child's point of view with great sympathy and unbelievable insight. I learnt something and so have my boys. I will certainly have more sympathy with asylum seekers from now on and it is a great lesson to the boys when a map pops up on the news and I can say that is the town (Kabul) that we are reading about.
I never read War Horse which is this author's "calling card" as it was a phenomenal stage play and very good movie. So when one of my student's was reading this "dog story" I asked if I could read the book after him to see if it packed the punch that War Horse did. I would say... having not read any other of his work - if he writes like this I am surprised War Horse was the good work that it was on stage and screen. This is a very formulaic piece of writing. I could predict the story line withou...more
Karen Jones
Naomi says: "SHADOW is amazing! the story told by 3 different people is both: sad, true (true story but changed to make a story), interesting, and over-all-AmAzInG!!!

Plus i met Michael Morpurgo!!! YAY!"
I loved this story...even though its aimed at children it has been so beautifully written it draws you into the story and you don't want to put it down...always the sign of a great book.
Jayne Grew
Amazing book
Its my daughters but the story is wonderful
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
I will admit it. The selling point for me for Michael Morpurgo’s novel, Shadow, was the dog on the cover. If the dog was just a little more brown, than red-brown, it would look just like my little dog, Gracie. Oh, and it’s a story about a dog — easy sell for me.

Of course, once I actually cracked open the book and started reading, finding myself bawling part-way through, I knew Michael Morpurgo had a winner on his hands. This is a serious story about some heavy stuff.

Just to refresh your memory,...more
Oct 21, 2012 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: grades 5-8
Recommended to Jamie by: Association of Children's Librarians
Morpurgo, Michael. Shadow
Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, 2010. 181 p. $16.99, 978-0-312-60659-6

High Additional Grades 5-8

Aman and his mother escape Afghanistan with the help of Shadow, an Army sniffer dog, to live in England. After living in England for six years, they are denied asylum and have to go back to Afghanistan. Aman’s best friend in England, Matt, asks his grandfather to go to the immigration removal center to talk with Aman. Aman tells Matt’s grandfather his harrowing story. Outrag...more
Mari Anne
3.5 stars for this newest book by the brilliant Michael Morpurgo. While I didn't feel this one was quite as good as "Elephant in the Garden", Morpurgo has done a very good job in bringing a very tough story to a young audience. Shadow is the story of Aman, an Afghani boy who escapes to England, only to be imprisoned and threatened with deportation after six years in the country. Aman tells the story of his life in Afghanistan under the Taliban and the hardships he and his mother endured in order...more
Hwee Goh
I was hesitant to pick this one up because of the subject matter (heavy) and I actually thought it was a book for adults. But no, this is squarely in the 9-12 (and above!) section and Morpurgo has yet again given me that now-familiar soaring of the human spirit feeling. This story is made up from actual events. It's about how a boy, a Hazara, escapes from Afghanistan with his mother to England. They face abuse, dishonesty and even death. Help comes in the form of a dog called Shadow, named thus...more
Review Here:

I personally think that Michael Morpurgo likes making me cry. His books were one of the first that I cried at (Okay, I wasn't particularly well read then but it has to count for something?) usually because he went and killed off an animal (I get emotional!)

This book was no exception. What makes me love it so much is that, although it is fiction, it deals with subjects that are real and that are going on right now. I also loved how Michael Morp...more
Anushka Kumar
I truly loved this book like crazy because i am extremely attached to animals especially dogs so i loved the emotions in this book. The attachement between Aman and Shadow truly remind me of my old dog. It is amazing how Michael Morpurgo relates realistic events from the real world to the story even though it is about Shadow, the dog. I enjoyed reading about how Shadow never leaves Aman and vice versa. Even with such bad conditions they stick together showing the strong bond between the boy and...more
Suzanne Dix
Short and poignant, this realistic fiction story recounts the horrors of growing up under the power and corruption of Al Queda in Afghanistan. Aman, a young boy, loses his father and grandfather to Al Queda violence, finally fleeing for his life with his mother in the hopes of making it to England to seek political asylum. Through Aman’s long and difficult journey through Afghanistan, he is accompanied by a stray dog he names Shadow. The dog’s loyalty, courage and intelligence sustain Aman and h...more
Iain Robertson
The story of an Afghan boy called Aman, his mother and their journey from insurgency-ridden Afghanistan to England. Deciding to escape Taliban influence in their village in Bamyan province, Aman and his mother decide to flee to England where they hope to be reunited with Aman’s uncle and claim asylum. They are accompanied on their journey through Afghanistan by a springer spaniel called Shadow. Shadow had one day appeared in the cave Aman had lived in whereupon he was looked after by the boy who...more
In notes at the end of this novel Michael Morpurgo acknowledges that the story of 'Shadow' was inspired by a newspaper article about an Australian sniffer dog, Sabi, who was separated from his Australian Special Forces regiment when they came under fire in Afghanistan. Although missing for 14 months and presumed dead, Sabi survived and was returned to the Australian forces having been fed and well cared for by the local people. So Morpurgo's story is an exploration of what might have been,who mi...more
Michael Morpurgo opens the story of Shadow with Grandpa remembering a song that was one of Grandma's favorites called "When the Stars Begin to Fall." Matt hears the tears in his Grandpa's voice as he grieves her loss but he takes comfort thinking that grandma looks down on them from stars that seem close enough to touch.

When Matt's grandpa visited Aman and his mother at the Yarl's Wood detention center in the U.K. where they faced deportation to Afghanistan, Aman secretively placed a silver sta...more
Shadow is based on real facts. It is a great book for children, as it is light but examines serious themes: the war in Afghanistan and the lives of the refugees who have been able to flee. The cover is perfect: the lovely springer spaniel catches the eye but in the background we can see the dangerous world Aman lived in.
The story is told from three different points of view, which makes it interesting and unusual for children. The main storyline is about how Shadow helps Aman and his mother on th...more
Wandering Librarians
After fleeing from Afghanistan and living six years in England, Aman and his mother are being held in a detention center and threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan. Aman's best friend Matt isn't allowed in to visit, so he sends his grandfather, a retired journalist. Aman tells Matt's grandfather the story of his and his mother's flight from Afghanistan, and the dog that helped them.

I did not find myself emotionally connecting to anyone in the story. I'm not totally sure why. Aman's life...more
The book I read was Shadow. This book is about a boy named Matt, who was spending the summer at his grandfather’s house after his grandmother passed away. Matt’s best friend Aman and his mother were locked up at Yarls Wood waiting to be transferred back to Afghanistan (where they are from). Matt and his grandfather decided to pay Aman and his mother a visit, but Matt was not allowed in. He had to stay in the parking lot with their dog named Dog. While inside, Matt’s grandfather showed Aman a pi...more
Michael Morpurgo, author of “War Horse,” (which was recently made into a movie), offers a fictionalized story based on realistic events. Morpurgo was inspired by a news clipping about an Australian sniffer dog who was separated from his handler when serving in Afghanistan. Although missing for more than a year and presumed dead, the dog survived and was returned to her unit, having been fed and cared for by local people.

Matt is visiting his grandfather when he learns the plight of Aman, who, al...more

I admire Shadow it's a really enjoyable book to read and I recommend it to everybody. It's a sad but has a happy ending.

Aman loves football. He plays for his school team like his best friend Matt, but their lives are very different. Aman and his mother came to Manchester from a cave in Afghanistan. Aman's father and grandma were killed by the Taliban just because they belonged to a different group called Hazara and his mother was tortured by the police.

Tell us what you think: Star-rate an...more
Shadow was a winner of the Outstanding International Book list. The criteria follows for this award:
Selection criteria include:
•Books that represent the best of children´s literature from other countries
•Books that introduce American readers to outstanding authors and illustrators from other countries
•Books that help American children see the world from other points of view
•Books that provide a perspective or address a topic otherwise missing from children´s literature in the U.S.
•Books that exh...more
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to...more
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